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Comp Results say Oxidised Beer - but how?

Discussion in 'All Grain Brewing' started by mr_wibble, 1/3/17.

 

  1. mr_wibble

    Beer Odd

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    Posted 1/3/17
    So I got some very disappointing results from the HUB/Newcastle Show beer competition.

    The two beers I bottled with priming sugar were labelled as Oxidised. The other beer was filled from a keg, and was not.

    None of my beers have been called oxidised before, and I must admit I'm scratching my head a bit to work out the source of the problem.

    Bottles were filled with a bottling wand until overflow, minimising splashing, from a tap in the bottom of the fermenter. Priming sugar was added, then they are capped. All-up probably within 3 minutes. One (or both) of them was a champagne bottle with the bigger crown seal - do these leak? (under carbonation was not reported).

    The only thing I can think of was the very hot summer this year. The bottles were stored in a cupboard, and unfortunately it gets to ambient temperature. So one bottle was ~10 weeks old, and the other ~4 weeks old.

    Is 4-10 weeks of summer, with mostly > 35C days, and a half-dozen or so > 40C days, enough to seriously oxidise a beer?

    All judges reported this on both of the beers. So it must be very apparent.

    Ideas?

    Time to dig that cellar I reckon.
     
  2. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 1/3/17
    First of all, just because an amateur homebrew judge assigns a potential reason to a flavour they detect, does not mean it is definitely correct. If they are judging as they are supposed to* , then two or more judges noting the same thing is a bit more definite but I can tell you from experience that many judges like to make their opinions known (sometimes to the whole room).

    Did they describe anything apart from ''oxidised''? Sherry? Vinous? Cardboard? Flat?

    However hot temperatures will accelerate oxidation reactions, some of which will be present as far back as the malting stage so the heat will not have treated the beer kindly and judges may have indeed been spot on.

    *(ie. without conferring, exclaiming aloud, etc but independently until after scoring, unless the spread is too wide)
     
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  3. mr_wibble

    Beer Odd

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    Posted 1/3/17
    Yes ~

    Oatmeal Stout (4 weeks in the bottle), This was the first time I made this recipe (from a book), first time oatmeal stout, first stout actually. Made with two packs of M03 dry yeast.
    To my palette it certainly was a very mild (in flavour) stout, and I did want more roastiness. AbV 4.6%
    #1 "vegetal aroma", "a dry sherry-like papery finish", "residual vegemite characters", "dry sherry-like finish", "showing age / oxidation", "astringent vinous finish".
    #2 "vegemite in flavour profile", "Oxidised paper and sherry come through".
    #3 "dry and paper-like", "papery-like finish"

    Ah shit. Looking through my brew-notes to check the yeast, I found the comment "Someone turned off the ferm-fridge". Ok, now the vegemite makes sense.

    Biere de garde (10 weeks in bottle), first time brewed, CCCB club recipe. 2x packs of M76 lager yeast. AbV 8.0%
    #1 "Some oxidation defects", "flavour oxidised", "oxidation high", "better yeast management and cellaring [needed]"
    #2 "Oxidised malt flavours", "some age on this beer??" "[...] age on this beer has made it more of an 'OLD' than a Biere de garde".
     
  4. n87

    Same as it ever was

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    Posted 1/3/17
    I got one of 'mine' labelled as oxidised, but it was the only one i entered that 1) wasnt bottled under my full control and 2) was not fermented by me 3) is over a year old (Baltic Porter)


    The comments on my Biere de Garde was alot around it being under attenuated... it finished at 1.000. Although mine got quite a decent score.

    Was your Biere de Garde in the big Grolsh style bottle (flip top)?
    When they opened that one up, everyone in the room went silent (was a rather loud pop)


    Edit: My storage cabinet is also subjected to ambient temps, although there is quite a thermal mass in there, it still gets quite hot when it doesnt get below 35 for days.
     
  5. kaiserben

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    Posted 2/3/17
    In my readings (I can't remember the exact reference), I recall that "Some brewers find that oatmeal stout will oxidise/stale more readily than other styles, possibly because of the extra fat content of the oats."

    So any little thing that went wrong is going to have been amplified.
     
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  6. mr_wibble

    Beer Odd

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    Posted 2/3/17
    Umm, yeah probably. The only bottle I have left is swing-top.

    I guess if it popped, then it was sealed A-Ok. Maybe a little over-carbed?
     
  7. n87

    Same as it ever was

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    Posted 2/3/17
    I believe the style is highly carbed? I carbed mine up pretty high (approaching 3 vols)
     
  8. GalBrew

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    Posted 2/3/17
    It could be exhibiting 'oxidised' character after being stored like that. On the other hand I have had a judging sheet tell me to pull back on the crystal malt in a beer that had none, so go figure?
     
  9. Weizguy

    Barley Bomber

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    Posted 2/3/17
    IIRC, this beer was presented later in the flight, but by no means were the judges showing palate fatigue.

    There were 2 Oatmeal stouts, which exhibited papery character, but one of them (to me, anyway) was excessively dry and very paper-like (like I had chewed on an invoice). Perhaps we should have called for the second bottle (if available) and maybe one of the other judges did ask (as he did on at least one other beer which had odd flavours). The Vegemite character was not much above the threshold for detection, and I may have suggested ferment temp as a potential source.

    It would be interesting to know how much oatmeal was in this beer, as I have had more oat character from a Witbier (not that it's a basis for comparison).

    Having judged oatmeal stouts before, I was looking for more oatmeal character, and iirc I found the roast to be OK for the style. Happy to be corrected. Overall it was a good beer with minor flaws.

    One of my beers was faulted as having too much roast character. FWIW, the only specialty grain in there was Abbey malt and Caraaroma.

    If you have any more specific questions, me and the other judges have provided our email addresses for just such purposes. Memory permitting.
     
  10. Crusty

    The Electric Brewery

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    Posted 2/3/17
    I entered a couple of beers in a local show & the judge reckoned mine was fermented too hot throwing some esters that lost me a point.
    The beer was fermented @18°C with a diacetyl rest followed by a 1°C cold crash for 7 days. O2 was added prior to pitching as well. The beer was nicely carbed, clean & crisp & dry hopped. I think a little more info on the entry sheet would be helpful so that the so called expert judge may know the difference between dry hop perception against an ester interpretation. It really sucks when two out of three judges detect no faults but that one judge wrongly makes a bad call.
     
  11. MartinOC

    Insert something suitably witty here

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    Posted 2/3/17
    Judges - subjective - opinion - perception.

    Not always correct on everything, but worth listening-to. If more than one says the same thing, take it on board.

    This is not an exact science that can be nailed.
     
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  12. Yob

    Hop to it

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    Posted 2/3/17
    particularly if you come late in the flight...
     
  13. fungrel

    Moderator Staff Member Moderating

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    Posted 2/3/17
    The results of the weekend saw a 2nd in Melbourne brewers and 2nd last in the Newcastle comp. Same beer.

    I understand it's a hard thing to get right. The Biere de Garde I entered was given similar feedback. I'm not upset or concerned how much of a discrepancy there was between judging of the beers because it is more subjective than I first thought. It certainly does make me examine my process more closely now.

    Feedback is the only thing I am interested in, it's nice to have a beer place but more importantly I'm only competing with myself in that respect. The best feedback from the Newcastle comp was from the judges that were either certified or pro brewers. I don't believe all judges get it right, but statistically they shouldn't.
     
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  14. mr_wibble

    Beer Odd

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    Posted 2/3/17
    So for a 22 litre batch, the grist was:

    4.17 kg pale malt
    1.00 kg flaked oats (cooked on the stove to a runny porridge)
    0.66 kg munich
    0.48 kg crystal
    0.39 kg roasted barley
    0.24 kg chocolate

    35g northern brewer @ 60 (8.5%AA)
    8g EKG @ 0 (5%AA)

    That's just shy of 17% oats. Maybe I should have toasted them first.
    As I said I wasn't too happy with the stoutness of this beer, and I would have liked quite a bit more roast, but I assumed that was all part of the oatmeal stout style. I've only tried a couple of commercial examples.

    I tasted the kegged part of the batch last night reading through your comments.
    It does have a very dry "vinous" finish (it fermented out to 1.020 (which is, on-paper, normal for an oatmeal stout)).
     
  15. mr_wibble

    Beer Odd

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    Posted 2/3/17
    Yeah exactly, that's why we're having this conversation.

    I want and value the feedback. I'm really grateful that there was this opportunity for it.

    My beers scored "Good" to "Very Good" in points, but the negative feedback is excellent for continual process-adjustment, ultimately leading to better beer.

    I'm here to learn how to make outstanding beer. The jokes and sexual innuendos are just an added bonus ;)
     
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  16. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 2/3/17
    Sounds a bit like 'bum' doesn't it?
     
  17. MHB

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    Posted 2/3/17
    I think adding the sugar to the bottle before adding the beer is a better practice, pouring the sugar through the CO2 cap on the bottle might be introducing some O2.
    That's speculation - but it is the one thing in your procedure that stands out as being a bit unusual.
    High temperature storage will definitely accelerate any staling even if it isn't causing problems in and of itself.
    Mark
     
  18. stewy

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    Posted 3/3/17
    To be honest, if I stored any home brew in a cupboard for 10 weeks during the hottest summer on record I would be expecting oxidisation. It can happen quite rapidly at high temps.
     

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